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Chinese Firm Probed On Links With Iraq
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Investigations; Sanctions; Fiber optics
Author: Lynch, Colum
Date: Mar 17, 2001
Start Page: A.16
Section: A SECTION

Huawei Technologies, the Chinese company suspected of installing fiber-optic cables to improve Iraqi antiaircraft batteries, has been seeking U.N. approval for more than a year to sell Iraq about $34 million in fiber-optics and related equipment, according to U.N. documents and diplomats.

Pentagon officials have accused the company of laying optical communications cables between Iraqi antiaircraft batteries, radar stations and command centers, which they say could significantly aid Baghdad's efforts to shoot down U.S. warplanes patrolling the "no- fly" zones over northern and southern Iraq. The Pentagon officials cited the alleged construction work as the primary reason for a joint U.S.-British air raid on Feb. 16, the largest strike against Iraq in two years.

In December, U.S. officials met with Chinese government and business officials, including a Huawei representative, to explain what is required to obtain U.S. approval of telecommunications deals with Iraq.

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